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Undergraduate study
Childhood and Youth Studies

Childhood and Youth Studies BA (Hons)

The Childhood and Youth Studies degree gives you an in-depth specialism and distinct focus on children from the second phase of primary through to 25 years of age.



Course routes:


Course overview

Foundation year

If you are interested in working with children, families or young people, want to explore how childhood has changed and why, how schools and education can help, or possibly hinder, some children or the role of social and justice services in protecting children and young people, then a degree in childhood and youth studies is for you.

You can expect a career in youth and family support roles in public services, such as probation, NHS and police and local authorities; youth services in voluntary sector projects working with children, young people, families and communities.

The course blends academic theory from disciplines including sociology and psychology with vocational, real practice so you focus on the skills and understandings of children and young people in this age phase.

Core modules concentrate on safeguarding, reflective practice and the impact of wider issues. Option modules enable you develop a specialism, such as in primary teaching, youth work, mentoring or leadership, and your final year project allows you to focus and research your own specialist interest.

Top reasons to study this course

  • You will be part of a community which encourages you to find your voice, with professional and personal supervision, and support specific to your needs.
  • Staff bring professional skills and case studies from working in childhood and youth settings from teaching, youth work, social work and the voluntary sector, to their teaching.
  • Opportunities for work experience or a work-related learning project, including Volun-tees. These credits can help you make employment decisions and provide real world experience to include on your CV.

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Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Engaging with Research in Childhood and Youth 

Practitioners undertake various roles connected to young children and are asked to account for their professional practice. In order to do this they are required to justify their practice by using relevant research. This module allows you to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the importance of research and its links to the study of childhood and youth.

Inclusion and Diversity in Education

You explore how educational settings become learning communities, developing an understanding of how a range of issues can impact on children and young people's education and can often marginalise or exclude individuals. You identify and understand good practice in a range of social differences including religion, culture, race, social class, sexuality, gender and disability from a national and international context.

Safeguarding, Ethics and Values in Practice 

You look at the ethical values that form the basis of working with children and young people and see how these are enacted in vital areas of practice, in particular safeguarding. You consider your own ethical values and the values embedded in education and other practice prior to undertaking your practice module.

Sociological Approaches to Children and Young People

You are introduced to key theories about the place of children and young people in society, focusing on the relationship between the individual and society, history, and social change to develop an understanding of this area. You gain the skills to critically analyse the role of government and services and consider a variety of explanations for the different life chances experienced by groups of children and young people.

The Developing Child and Young Person

You focus on children's holistic development, which is central to an understanding of working with children and families. You are introduced to a range of theories about children's growth and development and the provision that is made to ensure children develop to reach their potential.

Youth and Childhood in Society 

You examine historical aspects of youth and childhood, linking learning to policy development and interventions. You gain key knowledge in theoretical concepts and relate this learning to current issues and concerns surrounding children and young people growing up in the UK today.


Year 2 core modules

Challenges to Childhood and Youth 

You consider key social issues in childhood and youth and related policy within the UK. You focus on several national issues and policies to consider how national policy is formulated and implemented and how it impacts on children and young people growing up in challenging environments.

Employability and Work Experience

Gain academic credit for participating in work experience related to criminology, criminal justice and sociology. You may find your own work experience (subject to approval from your module tutor) or you can take advantage of work experience opportunities offered as part of the module.

Work experience must be performed to an agreed job description and person specification for a minimum of 60 working hours. To take part you must complete a DBS check, along with any other security checks required by your work experience provider. You must also agree to and sign a legal agreement outlining the obligations of yourself, the University and the work experience provider. Alongside your work experience you explore employability issues and skills through a number of interactive workshops led by professionals from within and outside the University.

This module has limited places and participation is subject to a selection process involving an application, shortlisting and interview.

Research Methods in Childhood and Youth

You understand the practice of research to prepare you for completion of your Level 6 childhood and youth research project. You focus on three inter-related aspects of research: the philosophical basis of different methodologies, the practice of carrying out research (including issues of approach, method, sampling, analysis), and how to ensure researchers follow ideas of good practice in research.

Working with Special Educational Needs and Disability 

You explore current issues in relation to a specific area of inclusive practice. The content is structured around reflecting on inclusive practice when working with SEN and disabilities. You investigate how ways of talking about and understanding inclusive practice have changed over time, the tensions that exist between policy and practice, and aspects of practice in working with children and young people who have particular needs.

Youth and Childhood Identities

This module builds on your first year studies exploring the sociology of youth and childhood. You focus on the different identities of children and young people in relation to ethnicity and culture, gender, sexuality, location and belonging. You enhance your understanding of the diverse ways in which children and young people construct identity and how these identities may reflect social difference, divisions and inequalities.


and one optional module

Formal Educational Pedagogy 

You consider the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to prepare for a career in primary or secondary education.

Informal Educational Pedagogy 

You consider the skills and knowledge suitable to pursuing youth and community work.


Final-year core modules

Childhood and Youth Studies Research Project 

You investigate a self-selected topic linked to your course in consultation with a research supervisor. The research project can be carried out individually or in a team of up to four students. This is the chance for you to put theoretical knowledge about research into practice and create their own contribution to knowledge.

Children, Education and Society

Traditional social theories present children and young people’s life trajectories as largely shaped by factors such as social class, gender and ethnicity. More recent sociological perspectives on selfhood in new times challenge traditional theory and place far greater emphasis on identity and notions of individuality, fluidity, negotiation and choice. You critically consider the extent to which formal education allows all children and young people to flourish regardless of their circumstances and conditions of choice.  

Managing and Leading Work with Children and Young People 

You explore the crucial role that leadership and management plays in ensuring organisational success as well as reflect on individual skills needed for successful leadership. Drawing on your own practice experience in your placement and on a variety of theoretical traditions, you consider models of leadership and the ethical and cultural components needed to maximise organisational success. Leadership and management can be described as a field abundant with adult theories and practices but with little focus on childhood and youth. This gap is bridged in this module by considering it from the latter perspective.

Reflections on Practice 

You consider the importance of reflecting on practice, exploring theoretical models of reflective practice and how these can be applied to practice with children and young people in either formal or informal educational settings. You also critically analyse your own practice in order to improve ongoing and future performance.


and one optional module

Exploring Curriculum Delivery in Educational Settings

You explore the importance of child-centred teaching and learning across early years foundation stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. The different pedagogical approaches between the different key stages are explored with a focus on key subject areas. Different modules of curriculum and their influence on the teaching environment are explored. This is relevant if you are considering working in an educational setting such as schools and nurseries.
You are assessed in two ways - small group work delivering a teaching session and an individual 3,000 word essay.

Leading in Practice

Explore the complex nature of leadership across the wider children's workforce at different levels of practice. Make the most of opportunities for critical engagement with leadership theory and research. Explore theories of leadership, reflection, professionalism, and multi-agency working and considers the application of these in the context of working across professional roles in children's services.

You are supported to reflect on your own skills and experience in preparation for employment in children’s services and their ability to take a lead, for example in promoting ethical practice and anti-discriminatory practice.

Sociology of Teesside 3: Youth and Social Exclusion 

You consolidate your understanding of some of the principal issues in current youth research with a prime emphasis on social exclusion and inclusion. You interrogate theoretical debates about social exclusion and the underclass, drawing upon original research from Teesside.

You focus on the central claims that lie behind theories of the underclass and social exclusion and the key youth policy concerns that have come to the fore as a result (to do with youth crime, youth unemployment and young parenthood). You examine a range of social issues and social problems related to processes of youth transition and social exclusion/inclusion in the UK, drawing upon local research wherever possible (the NEET problem, youth homelessness, young people and health/ill-health, child poverty, graduate unemployment and under-employment, and cultures of worklessness). 


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

Under the guidance of experienced and committed staff, your learning involves a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and guided reading. In lectures, specific information is delivered to larger groups while in the smaller seminar groups issues can be explored in more depth. Workshops are informal sessions in which you can extend your knowledge or seek further clarification of issues. Apart from scheduled teaching sessions, staff are readily available to provide further academic support and guidance. Some modules make use of a variety of guest speakers, such as academics and practitioners, to deliver lectures that enhance your learning experience and broaden your education.

How you are assessed

Assessment is varied and includes essays, case studies, literature reviews, essay plans, presentations, examinations and a dissertation. You also undertake formative assessments, tasks which do not count towards your overall mark but provide you with feedback so you can realise your full potential in those assessments that do count.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

A typical offer is 72-96 tariff points from at least two A levels (or equivalent). You must have GCSE English at grade 4 (grade C) or equivalent.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

This programme develops your independent thinking and analytical and communication skills and will help you become a clear and confident writer – all crucial to modern jobs and particularly those based around working with children and young people in a holistic fashion. Completion of this degree will support potential careers in public services, such as educational support roles in schools and colleges, the police, probation and local authorities, youth support services and voluntary sector projects.

Some graduates pursue careers in primary schools and adult education sector training.

All programmes are designed to incorporate employability skills development alongside your degree course. Our staff utilise their extensive connections to provide many and varied opportunities to engage with potential employers through fairs, guest lecture sessions, live projects and site visits. In addition we offer a series of workshops and events in the first, second and third year that ensure all students are equipped with both degree level subject knowledge PLUS the practical skills that employers are looking for in new graduate recruits.

Our award winning careers service works with regional and national employers to advertise graduate positions, in addition to providing post-graduation support for all Teesside University alumni.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

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Other course routes

Foundation year

Study this course with a foundation year if you need additional preparation or if you don't have sufficient grades to join Year 1.

BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies (with Foundation Year)


Entry to 2022/23 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£14,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years
  • UCAS code: LX59 BA/CYS
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 72-96 tariff points from at least 2 A levels (or equivalent)

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



2022/23 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: Up to 5 years
  • Attendance: Daytime
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)


Choose Teesside


Education, Early Childhood & Youth

The facilities available to Education, Early Childhood and Youth students at Teesside University are ideal preparation for a career in education. Students have access to many of the kind of resources that you would expect to find in an educational setting.


Get in touch

UK students


Telephone: 01642 738801

Online chat

International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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